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What will the stimulus bill’s impact be on Northeast Ohio's small businesses?

Small businesses say new stimulus bill will help, but isn't a long term solution to pandemic problems.

CLEVELAND — Whether the personal checks are for $600 dollars or $2,000 dollars, the stimulus bill will impact the economy and local businesses, but how much?

RELATED: President Trump signs massive funding bill into law, includes $600 stimulus checks

“We’re so passionate about what we do here,” says Jamie Haggerty, GM of Adrenaline Monkey. “This has been a huge opportunity for me and my family. So, we want to make sure that we do everything that we can to stay open.”

It’s been a trying time for Jamie and everyone at Adrenaline Monkey. Jamie helped the owner to launch the indoor recreation business back in June of 2018. The business finally turned profitable this time last year, right before COVID-19 changed everything.

Haggerty says, “We’re fighting. We’re fighting tooth and nail and we’ve had to make some very difficult decisions along the way.”

Their story is one replicated all over greater Cleveland, small businesses trying to survive until the pandemic finally ends.

“I think for those of us in northeast Ohio that go to our neighborhood stores and restaurants, I think what we see is what the reality is, that folks are struggling out there,” says Michael Goldberg, the Executive Director of the Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve.

Now a new round of stimulus money is on its way. The more than $900 billion COVID relief package will give direct payments to Americans, rental assistance, restart expired federal unemployment programs, keep the government funded and help small businesses. While the actual amount in the direct payments is still being discussed, Goldberg is optimistic on the effect the bill will have.

“While it ideally would have come earlier,” says Goldberg. “I think the fact that the second stimulus is taking place after you’ve worked out some of the kinks in the PPP program and worked out some of the kinks in people getting unemployment, my hope is that that is going to go smoother than the first time around.”

Although Haggerty says any help is welcomed, this stimulus is only short term help for a long term problem. However, it’s a problem that they’re committed to seeing an end to.

Haggerty says, “It’s just a band-aid for us. Normally, during this winter break, we would have hundreds of people and…we don’t have hundreds of people today. We’re thankful of the support we’re getting and we want to stay open. This is just a piece of the puzzle, right here.”

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